The Google Memo

Earlier I reviewed the literature on whether there is a distinct geek style of thinking?. This question recently went mainstream as a consequence of James Damore’s “Google Bro” memo. I was tempted to carefully parse though all the claims myself, but others did so for me.

If your interested in reading thorough reviews of what we understand about gender and cognition, I recommend:

  • Lise Eliot, 2009, “Pink brain, blue brain: How small differences grow into troublesome gaps – and what we can do about it”.
  • Cordelia Fine, 2010, “Delusions of gender: How our minds, society, and neurosexism create difference”.
  • Cordelia Fine, 2017, “Testosterone rex: Myths of sex, science, and society”.

In particular, Eliot’s take (and book title) capture my understanding: on average, there are more similarities than (small) differences. At the extremes, there are differences, but society has a way of essentializing and exaggerating such differences in a way that is worth actively countering.

I also recommend the following five pieces that speak directly to Damore’s biological claims and their cultural implications.

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